It is OK to have a day job.

30Mar10

I run into so many songwriters, singers, engineers, producers….you name it….that ask each other, “Do you do music full time?” It is like there is some unwritten rule that says in order to be “really” good at a music career you have to do it “full time.” Well what these people are really asking is, “Is music your sole source of income?” That is what most people want to know, and many want to aspire to that. It is very sad that so many people feel like they are not worthy because they have to maintain other employment….”a day job.” There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with having a day job. That does not affect your quality of music, or passion one bit. In fact most musicians and songwriters I know, DO have day jobs. That actually allows them to be more free and explorative with their music. In fact music is not MY sole source of income. I have done that before, but making money as a self employed musician doesn’t allow me to buy the toys and maintain the lifestyle that I want to have. It also doesn’t offer things like 401K matching, health insurance, and a steady paycheck. If you do music full time you are in for many ups and downs financially. I enjoy making music much more when I can save all the money I make from my music, instead of spending it before I make it on things like food, rent, car, etc.
Having a day job allows me to spend most of my ‘off’ time writing songs, working with artists, buying new toys, going to concerts, writing my blog, the list goes on and on. Do I still treat my music with 100% respect and focus on it as if it was my only income? YES! In fact I have so much passion for music, most people assume that I do it ‘full time.’ If you define ‘full time’ as working at least 40 hours a week on music, then yes, I do do music ‘full time.’ I am thinking about songs when i am at work, in the shower, driving, sleeping, ALL the time. I am a musician. I am a producer. I am a songwriter. I am not defined by my money generating activities. I am defined by what I DO. I make music. That is what I do. That is who I am.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to turn my passion into a money stream. I do make money from my music. I do consider it, and treat it like a business. I pay self employment taxes and have business goals, but I also have a job that I work during the week. So any of you who are struggling and hoping to have only music to do, don’t feel bad if you have to work a day job. Enjoy being able to make music without having to worry about it making your rent this month.
I am in no way trying to squash someone who really does want to make music their only income, I just want you to know there is nothing wrong with having a day job. I have one, and my music still kicks ass.
– Chad
Check out my music business, C-Sharp Productions that I run in my apartment.

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5 Responses to “It is OK to have a day job.”

  1. Chad, I found this really inspiring. I’m a home recording artist in Williamsburg Brooklyn, where it seems a large number of artists pursue their art full time and frown on artists that don’t. Of course, Williamsburg is also famous for it’s high density of artists still living off their parents.

    I’ll tell you though, having the day job can really suck the creativity out of you. I work in software, so it can be really tough to come home after a day of it and feel motivated to sit in from ProTools. Anyway, I’m glad to have stumbled across your blog. I just started one of my own to track the recording of my fist EP. You are officially my first blogroll.

  2. Hey Chad, just wanted to let you know I officially launched today (120 hits!). Check out the latest at http://theprojectplan.wordpress.com/ (you’re on the blogroll now), and thanks again for the inspiration!


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